The Friday Interview: Norbert Grey, DotMobi

22 Feb 2008

Dublin-based DotMobi has sold over 800,000 mobile domains to brands that include Rolls Royce and Hilton Hotels. Norbert Grey, (pictured) is vice-president of finance.

Are people sceptical of getting a rich internet experience from their mobile phone?
It is natural for people to be sceptical of anything new but, as always, the early adopters led the way when they first used the mobile for checking email – now people buy music, watch video and read the news.

Also, big brands cause the middle ground to move – a lot of major brands like BMW and Hilton are opening .mobi sites and are putting good quality content behind the .mobi name.

We have sold over 800,000 domains to date. If you look at some of the brands that have .mobi sites it shows the level of interest out there with companies like Barclays, Ford, Hilton, Maxim and Rolls Royce. One of the strong indications of success is when the leading brands are jumping on board.

Where do you see the mobile web in five years’ time?
I think the sky is the limit. If you look at the major players like Google and Yahoo! you will notice that they have focused in on the mobile internet for growth.

Take a look at how the old, or wired, internet grew slowly and then suddenly exploded – it took 10 years. I think if you were to replace the word ‘wired’ with ‘mobile’, that is how I see the mobile space going: it will duplicate the evolution of the wired internet.

What does DotMobi do?
DotMobi is the Dublin-based company behind the .mobi domain name. All .mobi sites are registered through us and we provide a standard for the mobile web.

DotMobi has financial backing from companies in the internet and telecoms space, including Google, Microsoft, Ericsson and Nokia.

Is DotMobi just about domain registration?
Not at all – we are conducting a lot of primary research at the moment. We are trying to build the mobile internet ecosystem and a lot of cutting-edge research on this is happening in Dublin.

Enterprise Ireland has encouraged us a lot from day one. It has given us support for specific research projects from the beginning and has also been helpful in opening doors for DotMobi in China.

We recently had a joint meeting with top scientists from China’s Ministry of Information to discuss infrastructure for building the mobile internet in China. As a result of this meeting, the Chinese market now offers a lot of potential for DotMobi.

By Marie Boran